HONOLULU -- Brandon Spearman scored 19 points and Hawaii narrowly avoided blowing another big lead Tuesday, holding on to beat North Dakota 71-66.
Spearman hit three of Hawaii's nine 3-pointers. Freshman Isaac Fotu added 17 points off the bench for the Rainbow Warriors (4-1), who bounced back from Friday's loss to Illinois on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer in overtime.
In that game, Hawaii coughed up a 16-point second-half lead. This one nearly followed the same script, as the Warriors led by as many as 23 before North Dakota(1-3) pulled within 69-66 on Josh Schuler's three-point play with 1:06 to play. But with a chance to tie, UND's Jamal Webb turned the ball over, and Spearman's two free throws sealed the victory.
Schuler and Aaron Anderson led North Dakota with 17 points apiece.
The victory was Hawaii's first over North Dakota, which had won the only previous meeting between the schools, in 1949.
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